Bitcoin price is pushing higher in a continuing rally that began in the last days of March leading into April. On April 20th, bitcoin value reached $1,243.9 on the Bitstamp Price Index (BPI).
Bitcoin is now trading at its highest values in over 30 days, comparing to prices during a recovery from the Winklevoss ETF rejection by the SEC. The increasing gains come despite the ongoing scalability debate that has threatened to split bitcoin’s core software with a ‘hard fork’.
The bigger topic over the past week has been the suspension of withdrawals and deposits of USD wire transfers from a number of bitcoin exchanges. Bitfinex and OKCoin, two large exchanges by trading volumes, based out of Hong Kong and China respectively. The pause in USD wire transfers has set prices at notable premiums on both exchanges.
BPI data shows price hovering over $1,200 at the start of Thursday (UTC) and trading and price remain largely dormant for the first quarter of the day. At 07:00, prices crawled upward from $1,209 to $1,220.80 at midday. The bigger gains were yet to occur. At 15:00, prices spiked from $1,222.10 to climb rapidly, scaling the near 35-day BPI high at $1,243.65.
At the time of publishing, prices have taken a minor respite with global average prices showing at $1,237. According to BitcoinAverage, today’s average high of $1,246.61 is under $20 away from the global average all-time high of $1263.66, scaled on March 6.
April has hosted a handful of notable positive developments in the mainstream for bitcoin and the cryptocurrency ecosystem, plausibly driving the upbeat trend. Since the turn of April, prices are now up over 15%.
The month kicked off with Japan’s legislation to accept bitcoin as a legal payment method begin. Within the first week, retailers had come aboard, as bitcoin is set to be accepted in 260,000 stores in Japan by this summer.
In Russia, where authorities and regulators have long taken a hard line stance against bitcoin – going so far as to propose imprisonment for adopters – there is now talk of recognition and regulation of bitcoin in 2018. The same official who spearheaded the effort to outlaw bitcoin in 2014 has now spoken about acknowledging bitcoin in a legal capacity.
Further, there is significant news coming out of India today, adding to the cheery wave and outlook among bitcoin traders. The government committee tasked with studying and proposing the legal outlook toward bitcoin in India is reportedly considering the approval of bitcoin as a legal instrument in the country, with regulation and taxation to follow.
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All time references are in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
Image from Shutterstock. Charts from Bitcoin Wisdom.